The process of writing technical manuals can be complex and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have the necessary knowledge and experience in the field. In order to prepare comprehensive and transparent documentation, you should ask yourself a few questions that will help you set your objectives. How to write technical manuals? Keep reading to discover 5 useful tips!
Technical manuals – what are they?
Technical manuals are documents that explain how to use or repair a product, equipment, system or machine. They can be written for a variety of audiences, including consumers, businesses and technicians.
Technical manuals usually include:
- Instructions on how to assemble, or use a product, system or equipment,
- Maintenance and repair information,
- Safety information,
- Diagrams and illustrations.
What questions should you ask yourself?
In order to streamline the process of writing technical manuals, you should answer a few questions such as:
- What do customers or users need help with? What don’t they understand?
- How can you best help them? Will a PowerPoint presentation, PDF document, online guide or on-product labeling prove to be the clearest and most transparent?
- What is the regulatory context? Do you want to meet compliance obligations or supply-chain documentation requirements?
- Who is the target audience? What language do users speak?
- Do you have access to any documents such as product specifications, or use-case scenarios that might be useful when writing technical manuals?
- When does the documentation need to be published?
5 steps to writing technical manuals
Now that you know what technical documents are and what questions you need to ask yourself in order to prepare them, it’s time to discover the 5 steps you should follow when writing technical manuals:
- Plan the documentation – understand what the user needs and what the context is. Then, you can start thinking about the structure of the document and what information needs to be included.
- Gather the necessary data – once you have a clear idea of what needs to be described in the manual, you can start gathering the necessary information. This step might involve interviewing experts, conducting research or using existing documentation.
- Write technical manuals – make sure to use clear and concise language. Structure the information in a logical way.
- Edit and revise the documentation – after you’ve written the first draft of the documentation, it’s time to edit and revise it. This step is crucial to eliminate any inaccuracies and errors.
- Publish the documentation – depending on the format you’ve chosen, this might involve printing the manual out, saving it as a PDF file, or uploading it to a website.
Not sure how to proceed with writing technical manuals? Or maybe you don’t have necessary skills or knowledge? Benefit from the support of a professional technical writing service provider!